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US

As hurricane season peaks, forecasters warily eye Floyd

satellite image
Satellite image of Floyd taken at 10:30 a.m. EDT

 
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FLOYD INFORMATION:
11 a.m. EDT Saturday

POSITION:
22.2 N, 62.4 W -- 350 miles (560 km) NE of San Juan, Puerto Rico
MOVEMENT:
Toward northwest near 10 mph (17 km/h)
WIND SPEED:
110 mph (175 km/h) maximum sustained winds

September 11, 1999
Web posted at: 5:13 a.m. EDT (0913 GMT)


In this story:

Conditions right to brew storms

RELATED STORIES, SITES icon



MIAMI (CNN) -- On the day when the Atlantic hurricane season historically reaches its peak, forecasters are keeping a close eye on Hurricane Floyd, which is skirting the northeast Caribbean and could threaten the U.S. East Coast next week.

As of 5 a.m. EDT, Floyd was located about 365 miles (590 km) east-northeast of San Juan, Puerto Rico, heading northwest about 10 miles per hour (17 km/hr.) A tropical storm watch was cancelled for the islands of Antigua, Barbuda, Anguilla, and Dutch St. Maarten.

The National Weather Service said the center of Floyd, with winds of 105 miles per hour (165 km/hr), is now expected to pass well north of the Leeward Islands. However, bands of rain on the southeast side of the hurricane may bring windy and rainy weather to the islands as early as Friday night.

People in the Bahamas and the southeastern United States are being advised to monitor Floyd's progress over the weekend.

Historically, September 10 is the climatological height of the hurricane season. Over the past 100 years, there have been more hurricanes or tropical storms churning in the Atlantic on September 10 and 11 than on any other days.

This year, though, Floyd is the only named storm and the only hurricane.

Conditions right to brew storms

However, Jerry Jarrell, director of the National Hurricane Center in Miami, said the three ingredients needed to produce hurricanes in the Atlantic -- water temperature, wind direction and barometric pressure -- are all "in sync" to generate more tropical activity.

Based on storm tracking models, forecasters now say it is increasingly likely that Floyd will threaten the U.S. East Coast early next week. And it has the pedigree to become a major hurricane, one with sustained winds of at least 115 mph.

Miami Bureau Chief John Zarrella contributed to this report.


RELATED STORIES:
Floyd upgraded to hurricane; could threaten northeastern Caribbean
September 10, 1999
New tools help forecast tropical storms
September 7, 1999
Dennis gets downgraded to tropical depression
September 5, 1999
Dennis-spawned twisters hit Virginia; storm makes landfall
September 4, 1999
Satellite returns from second trip around the moon
June 16, 1999

RELATED SITES:
National Hurricane Center
Joint Typhoon Warning Center
The Hurricane Hunters
The Met.Office-United Kingdom
National Weather Service
Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies
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